By WECT Staff | May 18, 2020 at 4:54 PM EDT – Updated May 19 at 8:24 AM
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – Superior Court judge Charles Henry on Monday lifted a permanent injunction in the H2GO case that now clears the way for the town of Belville to return Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer H2GO’s assets back to the utility.
Monday’s ruling also allows H2GO to proceed with construction of a reverse-osmosis plant.
“We are excited to be able to begin the process of bringing our community clean, safe water without raising water rates,” said H2GO Executive Director Bob Walker. “We plan to pick up construction of the RO Plant as soon as the Judge approves the transfer documents and plan and Belville and H2GO approve and sign these documents.”
The judge’s decision seemingly brings an end to a three-year-long legal battle between H2GO, Belville, and the Town of Leland.
In 2017, the outgoing H2GO Board of Commissioners voted to transfer $56 million of H2GO assets to Belville in a last ditch effort to save the controversial reverse-osmosis plant.
Voters, some of whom thought the reverse-osmosis plant was unnecessary and expensive, had voted in a new H2GO board of commissioners opposed to the plant.
The vote to transfer assets for a mere $10 to Belville came before the new H2GO board had been sworn in. For the last two years, H2GO has been in a legal battle with Belville to regain control of the assets.
Last year, voters elected two new members to the board shifting the power of the board once again. Currently, the majority of the H2GO board is in favor of the plant.
On May 1, H2GO and Belville filed a joint-motion, asking Henry to lift the stay on the permanent injunction which would allow for the asset transfer and the plant construction to resume.
The Town of Leland opposed the lifting of the injunction, claiming they were in support of a regional compromise for the plant. The town also was seeking to recoup legal fees it spent while fighting the court battle with Belville over the H2GO transfer.
WECT has reached out to the town of Leland for comment regarding Monday’s ruling.
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